Washington: Drinking at least three cups of coffee and not smoking daily may half the risk of mortality in patients infected by both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Patients infected by both HIV and HCV are at specific risk of end-stage liver disease and greater risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
According to researchers, HIV-HCV co-infected patients, drinking at least three cups of coffee each day halved the risk of all-cause mortality.
In the general population, drinking three or more cups of coffee a day has been found to be associated with a 14 percent reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality.
In addition, HIV infection accelerates the progression of chronic hepatitis C to fibrosis and development of cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease.
"This is a very exciting time for HCV research as a cure that can eradicate the virus is now available for all patients," explained lead investigator Dominique Salmon-Ceron from Universite Paris Descartes, Paris.
Coffee is known to have anti-inflammatory and liver-protective properties.
This is probably due to the properties of polyphenols contained in coffee that can protect the liver and also reduce inflammation.
The team used data from a five-year follow-up of 1,028 HIV-HCV co-infected patients. At enrolment, one in four patients reported drinking at least three cups of coffee daily. Over the five years, 77 deaths occurred, almost half attributable to hepatitis C.
However, the mortality risk was 80 percent lower in those who were cured of hepatitis C.
Further analysis showed that drinking at least three cups of coffee daily was associated with a 50 percent reduction in mortality risk even after taking into account HCVclearance, HIV- and HCV-related factors, and other sociobehavioral factors, such as having a steady partner and not smoking.
This research highlighted the importance of behaviors - coffee consumption and not smoking in particular - on reduced mortality risk.
First author Maria Patrizia Carrieri from Aix Marseille University, Marseilles, France, observed that coffee consumption provides more protective effects on mortality in the HIV-HCV population than in the general population.
The research appears in the Journal of Hepatology.